Avoid These DIY Commercial Roof Maintenance Mistakes
Your building maintenance staff can probably handle minor roof maintenance and repair chores. Where do you draw the firm line between in-house roof maintenance and bringing in a local roofer?

DIY or Pro?

The first question to ask your facilities crew is about their experience with the particular type of roof on your property. Metal roofing needs very little maintenance, but that does not mean it can be neglected. Single-ply membrane has its own characteristics, while your crew may have only worked on modified bitumen roofs.

If your crew is inexperienced with your roof material, your roof is the last place you want them to “gain experience.” Contact a professional roofer and ask the contractor if they have experience with your roofing type:

  • Fiberglass-asphalt shingles
  • Single-ply membrane (PVC or EPDM)
  • Built-up Roofing (BUR)
  • Modified Bitumen
  • Metal roofing


Localized issues that require no more than eight crew hours (one crew member with tools for a day; two workers with sealer and brushes for four hours; four workers and a stubborn HVAC curb for two hours, etc.) are generally ideal candidates for do-it-yourself roof maintenance. Similarly, drain and scupper clearing is a routine chore to complete after major storms.

Pro Only

Any roof maintenance requiring specialized information about the chemical composition of the roof (SBS, PVC, EPDM, TPO) should be left to professionals. For example, patching a hole using chemical or thermal bonds requires complete working knowledge of the adhesives, heating methods and rooftop material. Leaving such work in the hands of your crew could invite a bigger repair simply due to their unfamiliarity with the process.

Leak detection and repair is one of the hardest roof maintenance chores. In a low-slope roof, finding the exact place where water infiltrates is extremely hard without specialized equipment like thermal cameras and imaging systems.

You may feel leak detection and repair is not a maintenance chore, but often the annual inspection you schedule with your local roofer will uncover a leak from telltale signs:

  • Major temperature differences in specific areas of your roof
  • Soggy or damp insulation
  • Open seams or loose flashing
  • Loose or missing mechanical fasteners

Any entry point for water is automatically a leak waiting to happen or worsen. A well-intentioned maintenance crew could make the small problem much bigger (and more expensive). For expert advice on a practical in-house roof maintenance plan, contact the professionals of PSI Roofing today.